News of the World

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This article is about the British tabloid. For the Queen album, see News of the World (album).

The News of the World is a British tabloid newspaper published every Sunday. It is published by News Group Newspapers of News International, itself a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and can be considered to be the Sunday version of The Sun. The newspaper tends to concentrate on lighter weight news stories such as celebrity gossip. Its fondness for sex scandals has gained it the nicknames "Sex 'n' Scandal weekly", "News of the Screws" and "Screws of the World". In December, 2002 it sold 3.78 million copies per week. The current editor is Andy Coulson, who replaced Rebekah Wade in January, 2003. She in turn had replaced Phil Hall in May 2000.

The newspaper was first published on October 1, 1843, in London by John Browne Bell. Priced at just three pence, even before the repeal of the Stamp Act (1855) or paper duty (1861), it was the cheapest newspaper of its time and was aimed directly at the newly literate working classes. It quickly established itself as a purveyor of titillation, shock and criminal news. Despite being dismissed as a "scandal sheet" it soon established itself as the most widely read Sunday paper. Initial sales were around 12,000 copies a week. This success encouraged other similar newspapers, of which the Sunday People, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror are still being published.

Its slogan was, "All human life is there".

The newspaper passed into the hands of Murdoch's News Ltd. in 1969, snatching the paper from Robert Maxwell's Pergamon Press after a year-long struggle. It was Murdoch's first "Fleet Street" acquisition. Maxwell had been supported by the Jackson family (25% shareholders), but Murdoch had gained the support of the Carr family (30%) and then-chairman William Carr.

The newspaper has often had to defend itself from libel charges and complaints to the Press Complaints Commission as a result of certain news-gathering techniques, such as entrapment, and contentious campaigns. Some of the most well-known cases have been the "Bob and Sue" case with reporter Neville Thurlbeck, and various cases involving journalist Mahzer Mahmood. [1] (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199899/cmhansrd/vo990609/debtext/90609-54.htm#90609-54_head1) [2] (http://lifestyles-america.com/bobandsue/)


Anti-Paedophile Campaign

The paper began a much criticised campaign to name and shame alleged paedophiles in 2000 following the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne. The campaign aggravated unrest on housing estates in Southampton and included publishing phone numbers of alleged paedophiles that led to charges of incitement. The campaign was also seen as an example of editorial hypocrisy as the paper continued to publish semi-nude photographs of Page 3 models as young as 16 and salacious stories about female celebrities younger than that.

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